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Very often I see answers that answers the question posed for a jurisdiction other than the one requested. What is the official policy on this? Should it be changed? If we permit answering the question for any jurisdiction do we need country/jurisdiction tags?

  • I've featured this discussion because it's rather important. Please contribute your views here, as it'll likely affect how the community (and moderators) handle these answers. – jimsug Nov 5 '15 at 20:34
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Often, answers are posted for jurisdictions other than the one intended, even before a jurisdictional tag is posted on the question. People who provide prompt, high-quality answers should not be penalized for doing so.

Second, if somebody else in a different jurisdiction has the same question, SEO optimization or the Related Questions feature or even the automatic duplicate detector might lead them to that question, and if there's an answer there that applies to their jurisdiction (even if it's different from the original question), they can find that answer and be helped by it.

If an answer refers to a different jurisdiction than the question, as long as it's clear about that, it should be permitted to remain, unless there is a different Question object referring to the same situation in a different jurisdiction (in which case, the questions should be cross-linked with jurisdictional differences noted in the question).

Because many jurisdictions apply similar principles, and sometimes even the same principles and laws, an answer for one jurisdiction might be quite helpful in another. This is especially true given the relatively low answer-to-question ratio: if the question gets attention from somebody who knows the answer in a different jurisdiction than the question was asked, that information could still be much more helpful to the original asker than not getting the answer at all. The asker or someone else might have to do a bit more research to figure out if/how the content of the answer applies in their situation/jurisdiction, but that's going to be the case anyway (and there is the possibility of noting particular findings in comments/edits) if the pointer leads to something good.

Answers should be permitted for any jurisdiction, but jurisdiction tags are still useful as a guide for what answers would be most preferred, which is also helpful to answerers who might know (or be able to find) answers for more than one jurisdiction.

Answers should also be clear about the jurisdiction they apply to. Andrew Leach helpfully suggests (in a comment on this answer) using the [tag:X] syntax, but plain English should help if someone doesn't know that syntax. If the answer does not specify, the jurisdiction tagged in the question may be assumed (subject to all appropriate disclaimers about reliability of information found on this site).

That's my $.02.


See also:
- Is a "This answer is also true in another jurisdiction X" comment good or bad?
- What should the asker accept, and how should we vote, for questions without a specified jurisdiction?
- How do we handle localization of questions/answers?
- What if I want to see answers for other jurisdictions on someone else's question?

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    Answers can be tagged. Just include the [tag:X] markup. – Andrew Leach Nov 19 '15 at 11:45
  • @AndrewLeach Excellent suggestion; the [tag:X] convention is very helpful! – Pat W. Nov 21 '15 at 18:30

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